From the house where the historian associate Professor, University of Helsinki Jyrki Paaskoski (Jyrki Paaskoski), to the hotel, where Vladimir Putin and Sauli Niinistö will hold official negotiations, can be reached by boat in just five minutes. According to him, at the time the hotel was the home of an employee of the forest service. The Emperor Alexander I visited moraine ridge of Punkaharju in 1803. This territory became part of the Russian Empire after the conclusion of the Treaty of Nystad in 1721 (between the Swedish Empire and the Russian Empire at the end of the Northern war — approx. TRANS.).
“He came with a check of military unit, located in Punkaharju, and decided that I needed to stop deforestation,” says Paskoski.
At one time, it housed the Russian garrison.
Later, according to the Museum Department of Finland, by the decision of the Senate of Finland and with the blessing of the Emperor in 1840 there was established a nature reserve and Park Kruununpuisto.
“Then there were built two buildings for employees of the forest service. North now is the historical Hotelli Punkaharju. The house had three rooms for travellers and housing for the employees of forest protection”.
The construction of both homes, according to the Museum’s departments, was completed in 1845.
“The building was converted into a hotel only in 1880, when an employee of the forest service of it left, and the government passed the building leased to entrepreneurs engaged in restaurants and Inns”.
Unknown, did Nicholas I an active part in the decision to build the hotel. But indirectly at least, the part he took.
“Money matters had to say the Emperor. I’m not sure if this solved the issue at the level of the Emperor, but the Senate of Finland was accepted as the decision on construction of houses for employees of the forest service, and the decision on further extension”.
In Punkaharju in the nineteenth century was often visited by Russian travellers and writers, artists and scientists.
“This place was very well known in Russia before the First world war. In Putin’s team there are probably people who know about the history of this place,” — said Paasikoski Finnish news Agency STT on the phone.
The story influenced the choice of location
Press Secretary of the President Niinistö Katri Makkonen (Makkonen Katri) STT reported that in connection with tours of the Bolshoi theatre of the city of Savonlinna was a suitable choice for the visit of the President of Russia.
“In Punkaharju wonderful Finnish landscapes. In addition, it is a wonderful place from the point of view of security, logistics and organization”, says Makkonen.
Makkonen says that the place was chosen primarily for practical reasons. History and nature is, of course, a nice addition.
Visit highlights including the Russian media. News page Lenta.ru reports that the visit of the President of Russia is associated with the celebration of the centenary of Finland. On 19 July, the Kremlin reported that the presidents will discuss bilateral cooperation in trade-economic, cultural-humanitarian and environmental fields. The parties will also exchange views on important regional and international issues.
“List of discussion topics is very large. Presidents, of course, will be talking about what you want,” says Makkonen.
The visit is scheduled for July 27. Putin will hold in Finland only one day.
“To spend the night in Finland, Putin will not,” says Makkonen.
Last time Niinisto and Putin met in March in the framework of the Arctic Council in Russia. Putin was on a visit to Finland last July: the presidents met in the summer residence of the President of Finland Kultaranta.
Limitations of road, water and air transport
According to the Finnish police, which is responsible for security during state visit in the surroundings of Savonlinna will be restrictions of road, water and air transport.
Police warn that the movement may be limited due to security issues and also in the city centre, which can cause traffic jams.